Catalan Government starts refunding drug prescription fee after Constitutional Court ban

April 29, 2015 10:09 PM | ACN

The fee that was temporarily charged on each drug prescription in Catalonia between June 2012 and January 2013 has started to be refunded by the Catalan Government, after the Constitutional Court definitively banned it in May 2014. The decision came after an appeal from the Spanish Government, despite the People Party (PP) initially having supported the measure in spring 2012. However, after the Catalan Government started to back independence from Spain in autumn 2012, the PP decided to oppose the drug prescription fee. The measure had been adopted to reduce pharmaceutical spending, with the final goal being to reduce public deficit. In the short period the fee was in place, €45.7 million was directly earned but much more was saved, since drug spending dropped by around 23%. According to the Catalan Government's calculations, so far 100,000 euros has already been returned to approximately 5,000 people and about €6 million will be returned in total. So far, 300,000 people have filed the request, with an average of €20 per person.

The Constitutional Court bans the Catalan Government's drug prescription fee

May 6, 2014 10:06 PM | ACN

Following an appeal from the Spanish Government, the Constitutional Court has confirmed the cautionary halt adopted in January 2013 and it has now definitively banned the Catalan Executive's drug prescription fee. The measure had been adopted to reduce pharmaceutical spending by limiting superfluous drug demand in order to reduce the overall public spending. It was one of the austerity measures adopted by the Catalan Government in 2012 to reduce public deficit, in order to meet the strict deficit targets imposed by the Spanish Executive. The measure meant that Catalans had to pay a one-euro fee for each drug prescription, with a maximum of 60 euros per year and with many exceptions for people with chronic diseases, on low incomes and pensioners. On the same day, the Constitutional Court has backed the Catalan Executive's judicial fees, also appealed by Madrid.

Catalan chemists have already received 74% of the pending arrears

November 21, 2013 03:07 PM | ACN

The Catalan Chemists’ Professional Association, in charge of distributing the money from partially-subsidised prescribed drugs, has already received €309 million of the €416 million arrears payments due.The Professional Association announced the “immediate distribution” of the money received. Two weeks ago, Catalan chemists went on strike for these arrears, urging the Catalan and Spanish Governments to issue the payments. In theory the Catalan Executive is in charge of paying them, but to do so it needs a previous transfer from the Spanish Government. The necessary transfers from Madrid have been arriving intermittently over the last year and on many occasions with considerable delay. For these reasons, chemists protested on the 7th November in front of the Spanish Government’s Delegation in Barcelona.

The Spanish Government to transfer to Catalonia the €1.7 billion cancelled in October

November 14, 2013 09:45 PM | ACN

The Catalan Executive says it has the Spanish Government’s commitment to send the €1.76 billion that the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, announced in late October would not be transferred. This money corresponds to the loan to fund the Catalan Government’s deficit target increase from 0.7% to 1.58% in 2013 approved in July by the Spanish Executive. However, in late October – 10 weeks before the end of the year, Montoro said that this amount would be deducted from the fund to pay the Catalan Government’s service providers. This meant that Catalonia was missing €1.76 billion to fund public services and departments for the last part of the year. Negotiations during the last 4 weeks have modified Montoro’s October decision.

Catalan chemists go on strike again for arrears

November 7, 2013 10:14 PM | ACN

On Thursday morning most of Catalonia’s chemists’ were closed and their owners and employees were demonstrating on the street. They were protesting because neither the Catalan nor the Spanish Government is paying them on time for the prescribed drugs, which they have to buy in advance with their own money. It is the second time since October 2012 that they have been protesting for the same reason. The situation improved slightly a few months ago, but delays in the Spanish Government’s transfers of money to Catalonia have made the Catalan Executive unable to pay on time and a significant debt has accumulated. According to the chemists, they are owed €416 million, corresponding to the last 4 months.

Catalan chemists go on strike because of public payment delays

October 25, 2012 01:53 AM | CNA

Chemists in Catalonia had called to go on strike on Thursday because the Catalan Government owed them two payments for publicly funded drugs. According to the Catalan Government, the payments were delayed as they depended on receiving the funds from the Spanish Government’s Liquidity Fund. The Spanish Government announced this week it was transferring €99 million to the Catalan Government to pay the chemists. However, on Wednesday the chemists decided to maintain Thursday’s strike “as a warning signal” for the uncertainty on future payments and because they have not received yet the promised payment.